Summary: This sermon draws comparisons between the manna of the Old Testament and the grace of God in Christ Jesus. The manna of God’s grace is made available to us when we least deserve it. But then, that’s the nature of God’s grace.
Manna: A Heavenly Meal
For A Hungry Multitude
Text: Ex.16: 1-4; Ps.78: 25
Intro: As we enter Exodus 16, we find the children of Israel doing what they did so often in their wilderness wanderings—complaining. This is quite a contrast from the “Song of Redemption” that they sang only two months earlier, for they had experienced the mighty power of God, in delivering them from slavery in Egypt, as well as defeating their enemies at the Red Sea.
The children of Israel certainly had cause to sing, as they stood as a free nation, on the banks of the Red Sea. They had spent four hundred years in bondage to a heathen king and his people. But God did for the little nation of Israel what He had never done for any other. He chose them to be His very own people, revealing Himself to them in a most magnificent way.
Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage is a beautiful picture of man’s salvation, and the resulting deliverance from the bondage of sin, through the direct intervention of our Lord Jesus Christ. Pharaoh was to the Israelites what Satan is to lost sinners: the ruler of a harsh, cruel world, which was typified by Egypt. Israel’s bondage in Egypt is a type of the sinner’s bondage to sin and Satan’s rule. When the blood of the Passover lamb was applied to the lintel and doorpost of each Israelite dwelling, the nation of Israel was protected from the wrath of God’s judgment upon Egypt. The next morning, the order came forth from Pharaoh that the people of God were free to leave Egypt.
But Israel escaped Egyptian bondage only to find themselves pursued by their nemesis, and blocked by the Red Sea. The Red Sea is a type of death to the old life of sinful bondage. Just as the Red Sea was the border of Pharaoh’s kingdom, even so death to the old life, through saving faith in Jesus Christ, is the end of Satan’s rule over the believer. Again, I say, Israel had good cause to sing the praises of God, after reaching the eastern shore of the Read Sea.
It was not long after Israel’s victory over Egypt, that God’s people began to experience the realities and realizations of redemption life. They found the waters of Mara to be bitter; much like Christians of our day, who find that salvation and forgiveness of sin doesn’t mean that life’s journey will be without it’s problems and difficulties. But as Israel discovered, God had the remedy for the bitter waters. That remedy was found in a tree. In like manner, the cross of Christ is still the answer for the bitter waters of life.
Two months into their wilderness journey, this newly redeemed people, found themselves facing a different problem. They were without food. But once again, God met the need, with what Psalm 78: 25 refers to as “angels’ food.” Exodus 16 simply refers to this heavenly food as “manna.” In this incident, we are permitted some wondrous insights into the grace and greatness of God, in Christ Jesus.
Jesus is the manna of our souls. It is by feeding daily upon Him through worship and the Word, that we are spiritually nourished and sustained on this spiritual journey we call life. It is how the qualities of the manna of old relate to the Master that I wish to reveal in this message. There is much about manna that is typical of the grace of God in Christ Jesus.
Theme: The grace of God in Christ Jesus is clearly seen in the way:
I. MANNA WAS DELIVERED
A. Notice Where It Came From.
1. Israel’s sustenance came from above.
Ex.16: 4a “Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you…”
Ps.105: 40 “The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.”
2. Our Savior came from above to give life to all.
John 6: 48 “I am that bread of life.
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
B. Notice When It Fell.
1. The manna of God’s grace fell at a time when earthly means failed.
Ex.12: 34 “And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.”
Ex.16: 1 “And they took their journey from E’lim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between E’lim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.”